Student Desk, Wrapped Steel Top / Wood Base

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Project by Durbs75 posted 10-07-2016 11:25 AM 696 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This is a custom student desk I made for a client that I made a bed for. This compliments the bed in my client’s daughter’s room. It is made from poplar for the base and finished in the manner as the bed so it coordinates. The top is where the fun comes in!!

The finished top is 24 inches deep by 36 inches wide. The sheet steel is 20 gauge so it has some heft to it. The substate for the metal top is 2 sheets of plywood glued and screwed together to make a 1 1/2 inch thick top. The sheet steel was adhered to the plywood with a urethane based construction adhesive, PL400 by Loctite. I cut the sheet steel with 3 inches overhang on all sides, applied the adhesive, set the sheet steel on, and then weighed it down with some weights, and let it set for a full 24 hours.

For the corners after it set, I cut a square out on all 4 corners. Then I took rubber hammer and bent all 4 edges over the edge and created crisp slightly rounded edges. Once all 4 sides were bent over, I cut another corner out of the 4 corners to allow for no overlap once the 4 sides were bent toward the underneath sides. I then flipped the table over and bent the 4 sides to the underside. Once that was done, I predrilled holes every 1 1/2 inches and screwed in 3/4 inch pan head screws to give it a finished look.

For the corners, I took my MIG welder and welded the small gap of the steel together. Then I took my angle grinder with a flap disk rounded the corners to make it look like one solid piece of steel. The entire top and sides were sanded with a 220 grit ROS and got some cool swirl marks on there. Then I used a mild acid to etch the top to give the differing streaks and coloring you see. Then a coat of dewaxed shellac was used to seal everything in. Finally 2 coats of a satin acrylic poly was sprayed on!!

This is simple in design but definitely unique!!

-- Carey Durbin, Marietta GA,

1 comment so far

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2186 posts in 2247 days

#1 posted 10-08-2016 03:27 AM

That is a great trestle desk. Nice work on that top, it looks like it was stamped in place, I like the corner detail.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

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